The Netherlands' Edenspiekermann design agency has developed a platform-length LED display which provides real-time information on carriage crowdedness and other details.
When a train arrives into a station, it’s often the case that travelers aren’t spread evenly along the platform and are huddled in the same spot. This is annoying for both commuters and operators because it means carriages get full while others are left empty and leads to longer boarding times. In the Netherlands, the NS Reisplanner Xtra app has already offered train users a way to find a seat using their smartphone. Now the country’s Edenspiekermann design agency has developed a platform-length LED display which provides real-time information on carriage crowdedness and other details.
Created for train operators ProRail and NS with the help of design researchers STBY, the service consists of a 180-meter long color LED strip that spans the length of the platform. The display aims to give commuters all the information they need to know where they should wait to get on the right carriage. Numbers show whether the carriage is first or standard class, and the exact position the doors will be is also marked. Symbols show the carriages that are best for bikes, buggies, wheelchairs and large luggage, as well as quiet carriages. The boards also work with infrared sensors located on each train that detect how full each carriage is. A green strip means there are seats available, a yellow strip indicates that the carriage is fairly crowded and a red strip means it’s full.
Edenspiekermann successfully piloted the program at the Den Bosch railway station last year and now plan to implement the displays in more stations across the country over the next few years. Are there other ways to use technology to create more dynamic and useful displays in public locations?